Hate Plus Fear Equals What
Posted in the Top Stories Forum
#1 Jan 12, 2014
US Police Forces: Little More Than Racketeers And Thugs
Being a police officer means becoming part of an exclusive culture which has become increasingly hostile, violent, vindictive, and arrogant. On any given day you will find multiple stories about police abuses - violence, killing, civil rights, lawsuits, militarization, stalking, theft, revenge, blatant corruption - it is an almost endless list.
You don't have to take my word for it; these stories are becoming unbiquitous. The big story right now of course is the Martin murder, and the possible attempted cover-up by the Sanford, Florida police. But there is so much more - in just two minutes spent surfing various websites I found these items:
Pinal Sheriff's Office stockpiles, prepares to sell military equipment -- Uh, it's legal if the police are doing it...right? But don't ask such questions, or else...
Police taser pregnant woman for refusing to sign ticket -- Anything goes, anything at all, for law enforcment has no line to cross...
Rochester Woman Arrested After Videotaping Police From Her Own Front Yard -- What the police do in public, is private, even on your own property.
Ticket-fixing has been condoned for decades as part of the "NYPD culture." -- Police protesting because they have to follow laws. How dare us expect to have a law-abiding police force!
And it isn't the big, newsworthy things, but rather the small, everyday things we all fearfully and resentfully accept, which are becoming more and more embedded in our lives.
The small stuff eats away at our culture. Stuff like the cop who goes flying past you on the highway - no lights, no siren - just burning up the passing lane, driving with a posture which suggests you'd best not get in his way...and then a few miles down the road you see him pulled over, socializing with another cop in a different car.
Or the knowledge (I would say) every American not in law enforcement shares, that pissing off a cop, is a very bad idea - don't do it while he's on duty, don't do it in a social setting - don't do it EVER...or he can, and likely will, change your life.
In so many ways, society's relationship with its police force has eroded and devolved.
#2 Jan 12, 2014
I ran across a Facebook page a while back called "Big City Cops," which proudly displays the Caligula phrase (next to a skull, of course...apparently cops don't mind sharing sensibilities with sixth graders): "Let them hate, so long as they fear." You should check the page out, it's quite the eye opener - but I won't link to it. Hell, no.
I'm not suggesting there are no good cops - quite the contrary. I would guess the good ones far outnumber the bad.
For it is not indivudual cops so much as it is the cop culture - and the self-perception of being powerfully righteous, which is driven by this culture - that is so damaging. Cops who speak out against the culture are ostracized, fired, or worse - and there are stories of this nature all over the place, too. Thus the good ones end up protecting the culture, further perpetuating and strengthening it.
Very, very soon, we must take action; we might consider instituting federally mandated police standards which include psychological testing, Constitutional education backed up by testing to ensure a basic understanding of their relationship to the citizenry, continuing education in rudimentary psychology and sociology, ongoing crisis intervention training, job performance standards for departments and individuals, and maybe even set a maximum number of years an individual can be a police officer.
And perhaps the most pressing item - police need to be re-armed; their military-grade weapons, vehicles, and assault equipment needs to be substantially reduced - or eliminated altogether.
This is an intolerable situation, and another divide which continues to accelerate and widen. We must face this, and we must act, else the police will be little more than racketeers and thugs, preying at will on a defenseless society, wearing the guise of their protectors...
Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.--- Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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